03/09/2023 - Comment Filed - Disaster Response - Environmental Justice

EELP submits statement on expanding flood insurance coverage to House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance

Flooding is the most common and costly environmental disaster in the U.S., causing more than $85 billion in damages in 2021 alone. Yet most standard insurance policies do not include coverage for flood-related damages. This insurance “protection gap” is largest among low- and moderate-income households, particularly in the highest-risk areas.

On March 10, 2023, the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on how to encourage greater flood insurance coverage nationwide. EELP staff attorney Hannah Perls submitted a statement for the record urging Congress to expand affordable flood insurance options for low- and moderate-income households while mitigating current and future flood risk. Specifically, Hannah urged Congress to:

  • Establish a permanent means-tested assistance program under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for current and prospective low- and moderate-income policyholders.
  • Consider waiving “obtain and maintain” requirements for low-income, uninsured households so they can use federal disaster assistance to mitigate future flood risk.
  • Encourage common-sense mitigation measures, including the use of NFIP funds to finance or reimburse local buyout programs.
  • Improve the transparency and oversight of private insurance companies participating in FEMA’s Write Your Own program.

Read Hannah’s statement on expanding flood insurance coverage here.